The Invisible Gorilla Goes Further Undercover


In my book ‘The Brain-Based Boss’, I reference a book called ‘The Invisible Gorilla.’ Looking at the topic of inattentional blindness, I use their clever and entertaining study to highlight, amongst other things, the effect goals have on people in the workplace. It’s not all positive. Goals are great for creating focus which has a potential downside if you’re focusing on the wrong things or over-focusing on certain things to the extent that others go unnoticed.

My favourite video highlighting the invisible gorilla effect is from a British cycling safety advertisement. You may already have seen it – 17,120,331 people have. At least. And, it’s not even a gorilla, it’s a moonwalking bear.

This blog post refers to a study that takes it even further. Can professional and experienced radiologists notice a gorilla in a scan?

Most radiologists, however, did not see him. When asked “Did you see a gorilla on the final trial?” 20 of the 24 radiologists tested said they did not. It wasn’t for lack of looking. As the researchers write, in a forthcoming paper in Psychological Science, “eye-tracking revealed that, of the 20 radiologists who did not report the gorilla, 12 looked directly at the gorilla’s location when it was visible.”

I’m not that fussed or surprised by the results. Personally, if I had a gorilla in my lungs I’d hope I noticed it without the help of radiologists or even a scan being necessary. Unless it was a really small gorilla.

About Terry Williams - The Brain-Based Boss

I'm all about engaging people and helping you engage yours to influence behaviour to improve results - at work and at home. Maybe you're a manager, a salesperson, a leader, a parent, a presenter or an event organiser? You need to grab your people's attention, create some rapport, be memorable and influence behaviour change. How can we do that? I'm originally a trainer by trade, turned manager, turned comedian and partway back again. Author of 'THE GUIDE: How to kiss, get a job & other stuff you need to know', I write and speak about how to engage people, be they employees, family or yourself. How can we connect with people’s own internal motivations and help them use their own inner passions to drive towards productivity, success and happiness? And hopefully have a few laughs along the way... As a trainer facilitating learning and development in others, I find myself drawing on my own extensive business experience. I specialise in the delivery of high impact, customised training solutions for organisations that are serious about improving the performance and lives of their people.

Posted on February 25, 2013, in The Brain-Based Boss and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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